What Else Can You Do To Control Blood Sugar Levels
Yes. People with diabetes should wear identification stating they have diabetes and whether they have recurrent low blood sugar. Those at risk for the health condition should be counseled on checking blood sugars before they drive a car, operate heavy machinery, or do anything physically taxing. In addition, it is important to carry a quick-acting glucose source at all times, and keep a source in their car, office, and by their bedside. Efforts should be made to minimize the hypoglycemic effects of drug regimens and to avoid variable surges in exercise, activity, and drinking alcohol.
What Is The Glycemic Load
The Glycemic Load is a more precise way to compare carbohydrates because it not only takes into account the foods glycemic index but additionally it considers the number of carbohydrates per meal or serving.
For instance, watermelon is low in carbohydrates, has a high glycemic index, but a low glycemic load. That is because even though it contains quite a lot of carbs, you will probably not eat enough of it at one sitting to ruin your blood sugar levels.
You can calculate the glycemic load using the glycemic index number and multiplying it by the number of carbohydrate grams in the serving of food that youre preparing, and then dividing that figure by 100.
By taking into account the glycemic load, you wont have to eliminate watermelon and other high-glycemic-index foods from your diet.
How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself
Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 3.5mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:
You do not usually need to get medical help once you’re feeling better if you only have a few hypos.
But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.
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What Can You Do To Raise Your Blood Sugar Quickly
This post will explain What to eat when blood sugar is low. The energy you need to work, play, and even simply think directly originates from blood sugar level, or blood glucose. It flows throughout your body all the time.
Blood glucose originates from the foods you eat. A hormone called insulin assists move the sugar from your blood stream into cells in your body, where its utilized for energy. But if your blood glucose levels drop too low, you can experience a wide variety of signs, some of which can be severe. If youre vulnerable to dips in your blood sugar levels, understanding what to do can help keep you safe. In this short article, well take a more detailed look at the types of foods that can quickly raise your blood sugar, along with other actions you can take to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level.
Diabetes And Low Blood Sugar
Diabetes is a tricky disease to handle. The symptoms of low and high blood sugar are similar, and each causes irreversible damage to the body. Doctors believe that low blood sugar is more dangerous to the body than high blood sugar levels. This is because the brain, like the rest of the body, depends upon glucose to meet its energy requirements. In the absence of a sufficient quantity of glucose, it can cause stroke, seizures or even permanent brain damage.
So how does one suffer from low blood sugar when diabetes is a complication which causes blood sugar spikes? Skipping a meal, over medicating, exercising too much or heavy insulin medication can initiate dips in blood glucose levels.
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When To Seek Help
If someone is experiencing low blood sugar several times in the course of one or two weeks, or often enough that its interfering with their quality of life and safety, they should seek medical attention. People with moderate hypoglycemia may also need to seek medical attention if the blood sugar cant be raised promptly.
For severe hypoglycemia , emergency medical care should be sought. If a person suspected of having a low blood sugar ever becomes unconscious, call 911 immediately.
Carbohydrates Are A Group Of Foods Including:
- Particular dairy products such as milk and yogurt.
Carbohydrates are important for preventing hypoglycemia because they break down into sugar, which ultimately turns into blood sugar.
If someone doesnt consume carbohydrates regularly, their blood sugar levels may be low. This can then cause them to drop to dangerously low levels after taking insulin.
Eating fiber-rich carbohydrates over refined carbohydrates can also promote normal blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia.
Fiber is a carbohydrate but isnt absorbed by the body, and it slows gastric emptying time, which delays the breakdown of the food into sugar.
When sugars from carbohydrates are broken down slowly, blood sugar levels rise more slowly and steadily. This is preferred to a sharp increase in blood sugar levels, which can occur after eating low-fiber carbohydrates or added sugars.
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Your Hypoglycemia Action Plan
If you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia, its important to take action. Start with these steps:
Test your blood sugar. If you recognize any of these symptoms and believe your blood sugar may be too low, the first step you should take is to test your blood sugar with your glucose meter, Tan says. Anything less than 70 milligrams per deciliter is considered low blood sugar, according to the National Library of Medicine . However, target levels are often individualized, so talk with your healthcare provider about your optimal numbers, Tan adds.
Eat or drink fast-acting carbs. If you have low blood sugar, you need to take action right away. Your best bet is to consume about 15 grams of carbohydrates, the NLM says. Some options include:
- ½ cup or 4 ounces of orange juice
- ½ cup or 4 ounces of regular soda
- 1 tablespoon of sugar dissolved in water
- 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
- 5 or 6 hard candies, jelly beans, or gumdrops
- 1 tablespoon of cake frosting
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
- ½ cup of applesauce
You can also take three to four glucose tablets or a tube of glucose gel. Everyone who takes medications for diabetes should always have glucose tablets with them, Galindo urges.
Wait, then retest. The next step is to wait 15 minutes, then test your blood sugar again. If blood sugar has reached 100 mg/dl or greater, youre fine. If not…
Eat Every Three To Four Hours
Having something to eat every three to four hours keeps your blood sugar level on an even keel. Just make sure you keep those meals well balanced. If you just have carbohydrates, like a bowl of cereal or pasta with tomato sauce, your blood sugar will go up and trigger a release of more insulin. While insulin is responsible for helping to break down glucose to be used or stored as energy, too much can trigger a steep drop post-spike. Avoid this by balancing whole-grain carbs with protein and fat, which are digested and absorbed by the body more slowly.
And surprisingly enough, eating frequently can also be helpful for weight loss. Knowing that you’re never too far away from your next meal or snack prevents you from getting to that hangry place where you’ll eat the first thing you see.
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What Causes Low Blood Sugar
There are different causes of hypoglycemia, such as:
Too much insulin: Injecting insulin lowers blood sugar more quickly than any other diabetes medication. The risk of low blood sugar is highest with short- and rapid-acting insulins. Fast-acting insulin is usually taken around meals because eating raises blood sugar, so it works quickly to counteract the rise in blood sugar. Taking short- and rapid-acting insulins without eating may result in a hypo.
Long-acting or basal insulin works the slowest out of all of the types of insulin. It is usually injected once or twice a day. Long-acting insulin mimics the bodys natural ability to constantly release a small amount of insulin throughout the day and night.
Intermediate-acting insulin works more slowly than fast-acting but is faster than basal insulin. They are often injected twice per day.
Insulin doses can overlap, which increases the risk of hypoglycemia. For example, taking a morning dose of intermediate-acting insulin as well as a dose of rapid-acting insulin before lunch can cause a stacking up of insulin levels in the body and increase the risk of a hypo.
- Gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is the slowing of stomach emptying, which can occur as a complication of diabetes. When food isnt emptied from the stomach very quickly, it isnt available to be digested and converted into sugar in the bloodstream. Hypoglycemia risk increases in people with gastroparesis who also take insulin.
What You Can Do
Most of the sugar or glucose in your blood comes from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the sugars and starches in grains, beans, vegetables, fruit, milk and milk products, honey, and sugar. If you dont have diabetes and youre feeling the unpleasant effects of a drop in blood sugar, eat or drink something with carbohydrates. Good choices are a piece of fruit, a few whole wheat crackers, a glass of milk, or a carton of yogurt.
In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia can come on suddenly and needs to be treated right away so it doesnt get worse. Eat or drink a quickly digested carbohydrate food, such as:
½ cup fruit juice
½ cup of a regular soft drink
1 cup of milk
5 or 6 hard candies
4 or 5 saltine crackers
2 tablespoons of raisins
3 to 4 teaspoons of sugar or honey
3 or 4 glucose tablets or a serving of glucose gel
Each of these choices provides about 15 grams of carbohydrate. Wait for 15 or 20 minutes, then check your blood sugar with a blood glucose meter. If your blood sugar is still low, have another portion of carbohydrates.
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Low blood sugar is called hypoglycemia and occurs when blood sugar levels fall below 70 mg/dL. Low blood sugar can become life-threatening if it becomes severe, so its essential that people with diabetes and those caring for them know which foods to eat when low blood sugar occurs.
Suppose someone has repeated incidents of low blood sugar. In that case, they may develop hypoglycemia unawareness, which is when they dont notice low blood sugar symptoms as quickly as they once could. Hypoglycemia unawareness increases the risk of severe hypoglycemia, so treating and preventing hypoglycemia is very important for the health and safety of people with diabetes.
How Can I Be Better Prepared For Hypoglycemia
You can take some steps to be ready for hypoglycemia:
- Be aware of the symptoms and treat them early.
- Carry some fast-acting carbs with you all the time.
- Check your glucose levels frequently, especially around meals and exercise.
- Inform family, friends and co-workers so they know what do if you need help.
- Talk to your healthcare provider regularly to make and update your plan.
- Wear a medical bracelet that lets people know you have diabetes. Carry a card in your purse or wallet with instructions for hypoglycemia.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hypoglycemia is quite common in people with diabetes. If not treated, it can cause troubling symptoms, and even serious health problems. Fortunately, you can avoid hypoglycemic episodes by monitoring your blood sugar. You can also make small adjustments to eating and exercising routines.
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What Is The Glycemic Index
Your insulin and blood sugar levels depend significantly on the types of carbohydrates you consume. Simple carbohydrates are released at a faster rate than complex carbs into the bloodstream. The more quickly the carbohydrate is discharged into the bloodstream, the higher the insulin and blood sugar levels will be.
Therefore, the Glycemic Index shows the rates at which particular carbohydrates are transformed into glucose and delivered into the bloodstream. The quicker the glucose is delivered into the bloodstream, the more insulin will be secreted by the body in response.
Act Quickly To Treat The Situation
If you suspect you have low blood sugar, Dr. Fruge recommends quickly treating the situation, which she says should include “eating healthy foods such as complex carbohydrates, beans or fruit.”
“At the Pritikin Longevity Center we serve a cup of fruit with a cup of veggies to prevent a spike in insulin, which can sometimes lead to a later drop in blood sugar again,” she explains. “Adjusting your diabetes medication as prescribed by your physician may also be necessary. It’s important to retest your blood sugar 20 minutes after eating to confirm it has improved.”
Keep a fast-acting carbohydrate snack or two on hand in case your blood sugar dips below healthy levels.
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Whats Considered Low Blood Sugar Level
Your blood sugar tends to change throughout the day. Itll be more economical when you initial wake up, particularly if you have not eaten for the past 8 to 10 hours. Your blood glucose will go up once you eat. Depending upon when you last ate, heres whats considered to be a normal blood glucose range:
Fasting2 hours after a meal
70 99 mg/dLLess than 140 mg/dL
Low blood sugar, likewise called hypoglycemia, is when your blood sugar level levels fall below 70 mg/dL. The point at which low blood glucose symptoms become visible is different from one person to the next. Some individuals might feel tense, irritable, or lightheaded when their blood glucose level is up to 70 mg/dL. Other individuals may not feel any symptoms until well listed below that mark.
A fast, easy blood test can determine your blood sugar level. If you have diabetes or different medical condition that seldom causes incidents of low blood sugar, its essential to routinely examine your blood sugar with a home test.
If a analysis exhibits that your blood sugar is below standard, you can take steps to change it quickly.
I Have Low Blood Sugar
This article was published more than 9 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.
The question: I have been diagnosed with low blood sugar. Is there a special diet I should follow?
The answer: There isn’t a specific diet for low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, but there are dietary modifications that can help prevent reactions altogether. I have developed meal plans for many clients with hypoglycemia who now experience no symptoms at all.
Hypoglycemia can be a concern for people with diabetes taking certain blood sugar-lowering medications, but it can also affect people who don’t have diabetes. Symptoms can include headache, shakiness, weakness, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, confusion and blurred vision.
Diet isn’t the underlying cause of hypoglycemia, but altering what you eat and when you eat can prevent your blood sugar from dropping too low if you’re susceptible to the condition.
My goal with clients is to prevent hypoglycemia from happening in the first place. And to do that, it’s important to ensure glucose enters your bloodstream at a steady, even pace throughout the day.
It’s critical to eat every two to three hours to prevent your blood glucose from falling too low. Don’t skip meals and include a snack midmorning and midafternoon. Be sure to carry snacks with you to prevent a hypoglycemic episode when you are away from home.
Finally, limit caffeine and alcohol, which can worsen symptoms of hypoglycemia in some people.
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Frequent Low Blood Sugar Levels: Possible Causes And What To Do
Hypoglycemia is a normal part of battling diabetes, but persistent low blood sugar can cause serious problems and may even be life-threatening.
Ignoring the symptoms of low blood sugar can cause seizure or loss of consciousness, as the brain needs glucose in order to function normally.
Exploring the possible causes of low blood sugar may help to understand why it’s happening frequently:
What to Do
If you’re concerned about frequent low blood sugar levels, the best thing to do is consult your physician about the problem. He or she may run tests or blood work to see what other complications could be causing the hypoglycemia. You might also talk about adjusting your medication dosage or changing the time and frequency of your insulin therapy.